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Retention 101: Happy users are loyal users. Part 1.
Retaining users is vital for monetizing most free to play games. Getting the users invested in your game or app can be critical to making money over time; the more often the players return the more purchase opportunities they will be presented with. Below are a few examples of mechanics and features that will help with retention:
- Daily Rewards.
- Appointment Mechanics.
- Push Notifications.
- Progress Ladders.
The daily rewards mechanic is almost a requirement for any game that has more than 3 resources. The daily rewards mechanic gives the player some resource for the game for returning each day. There are several methods for implementing this mechanic including:
- Reward Wheel: Equal chance of the receiving the same item each day. Example: Homerun Battle 2
- Escalating Rewards: The more days in a row the player returns the more valuable the item received. Example: War of Nations
Appointment mechanics are the single most effective retention mechanic out there. The appointment mechanic is designed to encourage players to come back repeatedly and harvest their crop, check their character’s training or completion of an item being crafted. This mechanic is also a prime monetization mechanic as you can charge people to speed up these often arduous processes. There are several methods for implementing this mechanic including:
- Crops: Crop is a generic term for any resource that is eventually expended and requires time to mature before its ready.
- Training: A game that has characters that can level up will often be accompanied by a time requirement to each level.
- Travel Times: A game with armies and trading often have travel times that go from point A to point B in real time.